I Have An Eating Disorder

Hi, I’m Samantha and I have an eating disorder.

I grew up with a father that used food as a tool for manipulation and control. I was never overweight, yet my own father called me names regarding my weight and looks. As a healthy teenager, I joined weight watchers because I believed what he said. I restricted my calories down to an unhealthy amount, I hid food and binged when he wasn’t around to tease me, and I tried wearing baggy clothes to hide my curves. I also deleted as many pics as possible.

Continue reading “I Have An Eating Disorder”

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Did God Design Women To Be More Than Wives and Mothers?

This is something I’ve struggled with for years because I’ve grown up to be taught Eve was created because Adam was bored and that Adam needed someone to cook and care for him. I grew up in a religion that taught that women cannot be fulfilled, truly fulfilled, until they have a husband and children.

Continue reading “Did God Design Women To Be More Than Wives and Mothers?”

My Honest Opinion About Felix Gray Glasses

This post was sponsored by Felix Gray. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


I’ve always hated wearing glasses. Finding the right fit is so hard, Google searching “what type of glasses look good on my face shape” is conflicting, and honestly I’ve never found them comfortable.

The last pair of glasses I got in 2016, I was prepared to wear these 24/7. I needed to wear them, I didn’t want to wear contacts, and I figured it was time to jump on the glasses trend.

My husband and I went to VisionWorks and the experience was average. The issues I had with the eye doctor is a completely different story I’ll share another time, but I went home with thin frames and paid extra for the glare protection.

They were comfy, looked decent for the price, but within a few weeks the glare coating started to peel off! They said it was a user error and I had to deal with brand new, peeling glasses that gave me awful headaches because I worked on my computer a lot. And then my 1 year old bent them.

Before I decided to look for new glasses, I had become a fan of Felix Gray glasses – wonderful reviews of computer glasses that protected your eyes from staring at screens all day. I never pursued it because they didn’t offer prescriptions until just recently.

When I started my search for new glasses, I considered checking out Warby Parker but heard they didn’t really treat influencers and bloggers very well. I started talking to Felix Gray about their frames and unique lenses, and ordered a pair of Kepler frames.

They were so cute! I love them but they were a tad too small, so I was able to do a free exchange for their largest frame, Jemison, in “Whiskey Tortoise”. The customer service was amazing and both glasses were shipped quickly. I had no problems for my first time ordering glasses online.

Here’s what the Felix Gray glasses look like…

Not only do I think these glasses look beautiful, they are so comfortable and I have not had any headaches or eye strain. I’m not sure if I’ll ever want to own another brand of glasses aside from Felix Grays.

Here, see for yourself.

Bacon, Turkey, & Apple Casserole

I love recipes that mix veggies, carbs, and protein together. It makes it so much easier for me to make sure I’m eating healthy, because let’s be honest, it’s so much easier to fill your plate with carbs or eat tortilla chips and salsa for dinner.

This takes a little bit of extra prep, but totally worth it.

Ingredients

  • 1 green apple, diced
  • Half yellow onion, diced
  • 4-5 small red potatoes, diced
  • 1 bag frozen Brussels sprouts steamable
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 6 pieces of cooked bacon
  • Coconut oil
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley

Directions

1| Cook potatoes on stovetop until tender, medium heat with some water to help steam them. As the potatoes cook, put bag of sprouts and thaw for 2 minutes. I wanted to use fresh sprouts but they were moldy in the grocery store. You can use fresh if preferred.

2| Dump potatoes in large bowl, cut sprouts into halves or quarters (bite size). Add sprouts, onion, and apple to skillet. Cook on medium high and stir frequently until onions and apples are soft while the sprouts are thawed and have a little char on them. Dump into bowl with potatoes.

3| Cook ground turkey and add to bowl of veggies. Tear pieces of bacon into bowl & stir together. Dump into a 9×13 pan, sprinkle garlic powder and parsley on top. Bake for 15-20 min on 350.

4| Serve warm. Salt and pepper to taste.

Dear Dad | A Letter to My Emotionally Abusive Father

There have been a lot of people who have told me how strong and brave I am for starting to speak out against the abuse my biological father inflicted on me, but honestly, I have always felt I was hiding behind my blog/book. It’s easier for me to write down my feelings – it comes as a second nature. Speaking, however, is extremely challenging. I didn’t fail my public speaking class in high school, but sharing my feelings verbally is…well, it feels impossible most days.

Last year, I wrote a letter to my dad that I never sent. Now that I finally want to, I know he isn’t going to read it and he isn’t going to care, so I recorded myself to share with you all. When I first wrote the letter, I made the choice to not spend any more time thinking about my dad because he doesn’t deserve my time. So, this video is not for him, despite the title. It’s really for anyone who has gone through the same things that I have – to show that there is hope, to prove that you can find the strength to face your abuser, and this is for my sisters who are still living with my dad.

3 Ways to Survive Around Toxic People

I’m going to cut right to the chase. You do not have to put up with toxic people. Remove them from your life. You deserve better.

I know that’s easier said than done though.

Maybe that toxic person in your life is your boss, or a parent, or an extended family member. It’s easier to say bye-bye to that toxic cashier or ex-friend from college, but family? Or your boss?

If you’re like most adults in the world, you will just continue to put up with the draining, exhausting life of being friendly with a toxic. And here are a few tips I’d like to share to help you get through those days.

1| Pretend they are a homeless lady on 5th Ave. I heard this line on Being Mary Jane Paul & I couldn’t agree more. Mary Jane had a big problem with a coworker – a pro-trump, bigoted white woman who got on everyone’s nerves. Mary Jane was going crazy herself, just trying to restrain herself from saying something. Her publicist gave her this advice & I think in many cases it works. As the toxic person in your life is just spewing irritating or hateful things, just nod politely and smile, and pretend they are crazy (cause toxic people usually are).

2| Pray. I know there is some flack going around about the people that pray instead of act (like prayers for gun violence). In some cases, however, prayer is probably one of your only options. I pray that the Lord give me the strength to not strangle the toxic in my life, to soften the heart of the person, and to help me continue being a light for them.

3| Be Honest. Most of the time, if you share your feelings with a toxic person, they will make it about them. They will do the whole “woo is me” bit, or they will be sooo defensive and you’ll end up feeling like the bad guy. I understand that being honest isn’t even worth it sometimes…but you’re also giving them a platform when you lie. If they push you in a corner and ask, “Are you mad at me?”, you want to say yes, but you say no because it’s a trap. No one wins. You say yes, and you’re about to receive crap. You say no, and you get to deal with the same behavior. If it’s a lose-lose, might as well be honest, right?

4| End the Relationship. Seriously, I know I already said it and it’s impossible in many cases, but it’s the best way to survive them. I was able to use this piece of advice on one family member, but it was a hard choice. And I feel so free now. However, I have another toxic person in my life & this one will not easily end. I’m trying some new things with this person and I can’t wait to share if they worked. Stay tuned and be sure to subscribe if you haven’t already.

Do you have any advice for dealing with toxic people? We’d love to hear it! We always could use all the help we can get.

What To Do When Society Doesn’t Agree With God’s Plan

Society tells me that I need a degree in order to succeed in my life.

My family tells me that while I don’t need a degree, I need a job & SAHM’s are not a job.

God tells me, “She must be well respected by everyone because of the good she has done. Has she brought up her children well? Has she been kind to strangers and served other believers humbly?[a] Has she helped those who are in trouble? Has she always been ready to do good?” -1 Timothy 5:10

Society tells me to chase my dreams, that the world is my oyster.

My family says, “Be practical”, pursue a career in anything but the arts.

God says,  “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” -1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” -Matthew 28:19-20

Society tells me that money really does buy happiness…and friends…and fame…

My family says that money doesn’t buy you anything except a nice roof over my head and food in my belly…but they still buy lottery tickets in hope they’ll strike it rich.

God says, “But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction.” 1 Timothy 6:9

Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness!” -Ecclesiastes 5:10

Society tells me to put my career first. Put me first. I should have a baby before I’m 30, but I’m more likely to have a successful marriage if I wait until I’m older.

My family tells me that I should have waited to marry – experience what the world has to offer.

I say, why should marriage or motherhood prevent me from experience the world? Why can’t I share those experiences with my best friend?

God says, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” –Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Society tells me that I need to have kids before I’m 30, or I risk having a mentally disabled child.

My family tells me that I’m too young to have kids & I should wait.

God says, “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.” -Psalm 127:3

“But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.” -John 15:7-8

Society tells me to embrace my sexuality – wear what I want and do who I want, but don’t hesitate to label me anyways. Either a slut or a prude.

My family says I have to cover myself or I’ll make men sin.

God says, “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”-1 Samuel 16:7

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.” Proverbs 31:30

There hasn’t been a time in my life where I haven’t had someone butt in with their opinion about my life – I should do this, not that. I should say this, not that. I should talk to this person, not that person. I should do this with my son, not the other way.

It’s overwhelming. I feel like I’m a bridal bouquet that two women are fighting over. Or the fairy godmothers that can’t decide which color Aurora’s dress should be (blue? pink?). I’ve learned I can’t please everyone. Someone, somewhere, is offended by my choices.

A long time ago, I accepted Christ into my heart and a few years after that, I surrendered my life to Him – I was ready to pursue a life that glorified the Lord and it’s been a constant battle.

I know the plans God has for me (at lease most of them). I see the road ahead, a long twisty road full of infinite struggles, but a road that I’m positive God has set for me. And one of the biggest struggles is my family and society pulling me away from the path. As I get closer to it’s destination, the struggle increases. I can feel I’m close to where God wants me because I’m nervous, I feel deep spiritual battles in my life, and non-believers think I’m nuts.

I’d just like to share a few tips I’ve learned as I walk down my path Abba set out for me.

1| Set your eyes upon the Throne. God is the only one you should be taking advice from (and select earthly elders). It’s His path and He leads the way.

2| Consult scripture. If you are unsure about your path, open the Bible. If there’s anything that contradicts what you’re pursuing, it’s safe to say your not on the right path.

3| Take what your family says with a grain of salt. If I listened to everything my family said, I don’t know how many experiences I missed out on. Evangelizing during spring break, marrying my husband, having my son, pursing a career in writing, deciding to finish my last two years in high school in homeschool, etc. They may think they have your best interest at heart, but they can’t see the full picture. Only God can, only He knows the plans he has for you.

4| Don’t compare your experiences with others. I know it’s hard in this social media age, I do it too. When you’re single and friends are married. When you want a baby and your newsfeed is all pregnancy announcements. When your friend buys a house and you’re still living in an apartment. When your friend goes on a year mission trip to Africa. Those things might be in your future, but you have to be patient. Don’t compare paths.

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” -Romans 12:2

40+ Must-Have Apps for Christian Bloggers

I’ve spent a lot of time downloading and deleting apps that didn’t work for me and my lifestyle. I don’t want you to waste as much time as me, so I’m going to share my favorite apps. Granted, not all of them are for blogging and God, but that’s okay. Here are all of the apps currently on my phone (aside from the ones predownloaded).

  1. Facebook. I hate this social site and I know I just made an entire post about deleting it, but I found that it’s really hard to be a journalist without it.
  2. Facebook Messenger
  3. Instagram. My favorite social site.
  4. Twitter
  5. Pinterest
  6. Gmail
  7. CrowdRise. This is the app I’m using to track the donations for my running 200 miles for charity.
  8. Vanido. I just downloaded this, an app to practice singing.
  9. Felt Cards. Guys, you have to check this one out! Cheap, good quality cards to send to loved ones? Yes please.
  10. Etsy
  11. Instagram Layout
  12. ColorStory. Both this and #13 I use to minimally edit my photos before they go on social media.
  13. Afterlight
  14. Podcasts
  15. iMovie
  16. YouTube
  17. Hurdlr. As a freelancer, I needed a free app that lets me keep track of income and expenses.
  18. Google Drive
  19. Werdsmith. If inspiration strikes, I open this app up and type to my hearts content.
  20. WordPress. I’m using this right now!
  21. Canva. How I make all graphics for my blog, including my logo!
  22. Ibotta. I’ve gotten $25 back by using this app for grocery shopping in the past year. Here’s my referral link if your interested in this free grocery app.
  23. Goodreads. Keeping track of all the books I read.
  24. Walmart. If you shop at Walmart, you scan your receipts, right?
  25. Pokémon Go. My husband’s guilty pleasure. I catch the cute ones.
  26. Pandora. What I listen to when I write.
  27. LeapSecond. Once second videos every day is so cool!
  28. Rules of Survival. I’m not a big game person, but this surprisingly was enjoyable. Honestly, I’ll probably delete it soon.
  29. NBC. When I miss This Is Us, this is how I catch up.
  30. Netflix
  31. Spectrum. Just another way I watch tv
  32. Sworkit Stretching. A great stretching app I use before my workouts.
  33. Fitbit
  34. Nike Run Club
  35. Calm. My favorite relaxation app, but with a hefty price tag.
  36. P Tracker
  37. Happy Scale. A weight app that notices fluctuations in your weight and possible reasons why.
  38. Fooducate. Scan your food & it rates it, giving insight to what those mispronounced ingredients really are.
  39. Yoga Studio. I got lucky on this one. Years ago I bought this for a few dollars and now, you have to pay a monthly membership. But I got grandfathered in.
  40. Holy Bible
  41. MissionHub. This is an interesting one! Keeps tracks of names of friends and such to encourage you to reach out and fellowship/evangelize.
  42. Perspective Cards. A great, easy way to teach Christianity to people. We used it a lot in Cru.
  43. God Tools. Another Cru tool with info about Christianity.

I’d love to hear your app recommendations!